Posted in Young Adult

Litcube “Sherlocked” December Box Review

Lit-Cube is a monthly subscription box curated by Peggy and her team that sends you a book, a wearable, and other little bookish goodies.

The cost: $29.99/month + $4.99 s/h to U.S. and $14.99 s/h to Canada

 

<–This is what it looks like on the inside, after you first open it! The anticipation is exciting. This months theme was “Sherlocked” and it has all things Sherlockian inside!! I always like their description cards, and this month is no exception!

Check out my other Lit-Cube reviews and book box subscription reviews !

 


I was very surprised to see two hardcover books in our box this month! I didn’t realize there was two until after I pulled them out, because even though I like the info card, I don’t want to be spoiled while I take everything out. Do you read the info cards or wait until after you unbox everything??

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) by Heather W. Petty

Released: September 15th 2015 by Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary:

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again

This book has a retail value of $17.99, but you can find it on Amazon for $12.14.

The book itself looks very interesting, and something that I would enjoy reading a lot! My only complaint is that there is a slit in the jacket on the top right corner. At least it’s small and hopefully won’t get any bigger!

 

Lock & Mori Mind Games (Lock & Mori #2) by Heather W. Petty

Published: December 6th 2016 by Simon & Shuster

Goodreads Summary:

Sherlock Holmes and Miss James “Mori” Moriarty may have closed their first case, but the mystery is far from over in the thrilling sequel to Lock & Mori, perfect for fans of Maureen Johnson and Sherlock.

You know their names. Now discover their beginnings.

Mori’s abusive father is behind bars…and she has never felt less safe. Threatening letters have started appearing on her doorstep, and the police are receiving anonymous tips suggesting that Mori—not her father—is the Regent’s Park killer. To make matters worse, the police are beginning to believe them.

Through it all, Lock—frustrating, brilliant, gorgeous Lock—is by her side. The two of them set out to discover who is framing Mori, but in a city full of suspects, the task is easier said than done. With the clock ticking, Mori will discover just how far she is willing to go to make sure that justice is served, and no one—not even Lock—will be able to stop her.

This book has a retail value of $17.99, but you can find it on Amazon for $11.99.

Depending on how the first book goes will determine if I will enjoy this one or not. So I’m crossing my fingers that I do, because the premise sounds really good. So far it has a 4.06 rating on Goodreads, so that is really promising so far.

Look how cute these promotional items are!! The stickers are adorable, and I am thinking of putting them inside my book. What do you do with promotional character stickers?

I decided to put the signed sticker inside the Mind Games book, that way it won’t accidentally get lost.

The wearable this month, are Lit-Cube exclusive Sherlock Holmes socks! This has a retail value of $9.99. Since they were designed just for Lit-Cube subscribers you unfortunately won’t be able to find them anywhere else. Hopefully if they have extras they will sell them on their website.

Sherlock themed tea by First Edition Tea Co. Retail value $3.99

This fits the theme very well, I just wish I liked tea! Maybe I need to subscribe to their Stars Hallow box in order to get coffee products instead of tea!

221 Baker Street keychain – retail value $5.99

This is a cute keychain, a little plain for my tastes, but I have some friends who would really like this for Christmas!

Last, but not least, is this exclusive 2016 Lit-Cube Holiday #bookish ornament. I like the color, but it’s a little hard to see the words unless you are right on top of it. It does give my tree a little something extra!

Overall, this month’s box had an estimated overall value of $44.10. That doesn’t include the ornament or promotional items included in the box. Unfortunately, this will be my last box for awhile for personal reasons and this was a great box to end my subscription with. I loved that there was 2 books included in the box and the socks! One can never have too many socks.

What do you think of this month’s box?

Advertisements
Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

The Best Damn Book Box August Review

The Best Damn Book Box curated by Nicole and her team came in today, and I am super excited! Nicole and her team are still trying to catch up on boxes, and we just received our August boxes this month. I can’t wait for them to be all caught up! I really want the November Villain’s box!

TBDBB is a monthly subscription box:

img_0170

 

“A Book Subscription Box For Your Bookish Delight! We Deliver Adventures To Your Door!  30% off 3 OR 6 MONTH SUBSCRIPTIONS!!! Just use Code MSASAVE30

 

 

  • Some of the Best Damn Authors around!
  • Exclusive items created for each box
  • Top Selling YA novels each month for your reading delight
  • 5 to 6 bookish items, tea, snacks, jewelry, bookmarks, candles, etc., handcrafted by amazing small shops
  • Newly released or Best Sellers Each Month based around a monthly theme!
  • Each Box Donates $1 to a charity each month!”

There are three different types of subscriptions:

  • Monthly: $39.99
  • 3 Month Prepay: $89.99
  • 6 Month Prepay: $169.99
  • Shipping rates are $6.99 US, $10.99 Canada, and $19.99 Internationally

Normally, the boxes ship on or around the 25th of each month in waves.

This “months” theme was “Oz and Everything Wicked”. I have to say though, after opening up the box, I was a little bit disappointed with how sparse it was. I was not impressed what so ever. Giving the box a chance, I quickly dove in to see what goodies was curated for the theme.

img_0171

First up, the info card. The other side of the card is gorgeous. I wish that it was packed in a way that would have prevent it from bending, but hopefully placing it between two books will flatten it back out.

img_0173

The book this month was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The redesigned modern cover art was done by Rock Paper Books, and has a retail value of $10.99.

Goodreads Summary:

Follow the yellow brick road!

Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival – will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?

As much as I love the cover, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t receive a new YA book. The previous month was also a new edition of a classic, and I hope that this isn’t going to become a trend. Don’t get me wrong, I love classics, but I already own most of them so getting a new edition is just taking up precious space on my overcrowded bookshelves. =/

img_0169

This mini candle is by Novelly Yours. She is a lot of cute candles on her Etsy shop, so I definitely suggest checking her out! This particular candle is the scent Villanous, on her shop she has the 8 oz for sale for $11.00. I am assuming that this is a sampler, so the retail value for this is probably $2.75. Novelly Yours makes all natural soy wax candles, and this one has scents of stormy nights, pine, winter garden, and fire.

img_0172

This silver plated necklace was made by the Best Damn Craft Shop. They had multiple characters, and I received the rainbow. It is always hard to find them online, so I estimate that this has a value of $8.00.

img_0174

Wicked Witch Finger soaps by Bubble City Soap. You can order these in either sets of 20, 30, or 40. Thus making the retail value for one witch finger to be $1.20. These are very creepy looking by themselves, but it is supposed to have a green apple scent. Too bad it didn’t come before Halloween for me to put in my guest bathroom. After viewing all the items this was the only “wicked” item in the box. Everything else was all sunshine and rainbows all things considered.

img_0175

Last but not least are these super cute magnetic bookmarks by Nerdy Grl Designs. Between subscription boxes and my personal orders I will probably own a little bit of everything from her shop! I get so many compliments from her bookmarks, and most of friends want them too! A full set of Oz Magnetic Bookmarks are $10.00 and there are 6 in the set.  A set of 2 for a custom set have a value of $4.50.

img_0176

Overall, I am not that impressed with this box. My favorite item hands down is magnetic bookmarks and then possibly the candle. This box has an estimated value of $28.00, and considering that the box is $47 a month, I am not happy with it. I understand things happen, but since the box is already late what’s a few extra days to get high quality items? I only have a 6 month subscription, and if the next couple of boxes are not an improvement I don’t think I will continue with this one.

What did you think of this months box?

Septembers Theme is:

mermaidtheme

Octobers Theme is:

Things that Go Bump in the Night (unfortunately, I couldn’t find the promo pic)

Novembers Theme is:

villains2

Decembers Theme is:

nightmarebeforechristmas

This one is more of a celebration of their one year anniversary, so they are redoing their very first box. It is also for new subscribers only, so if someone has stayed with them for an entire year I do not know what kind of box they will get.

Posted in Subscription Box

Lit-Cube Special Edition “Halloween Eve” Box Review

Lit-Cube is a monthly subscription box that sends you a book, a wearable, and other little bookish goodies.

The cost: $29.99/month + $4.99 s/h to U.S. and $14.99 s/h to Canada

<–This is what it looks like on the inside of the special edition box, after you first open it! The anticipation is exciting. The theme for this box was “Halloween Eve”.

Check out my other Lit-Cube reviews and book box subscription reviews!

 

For a limited edition box (such as this one) it is a little bit more costly. The cost is $44.95 which included shipping and handling. These are one time boxes and are not part of the monthly subscription, I believe they only do 4 boxes a year, but I could be mistaken. This was my second limited edition box, and so far I really like it! I might consider buying more in the future, but that will depend on funds during that particular month!

Unlike my first limited edition box, this one included a description card. I really like when subscription boxes include these, I like to get a sense of what each item is valued.

img_1607

The book for this box is Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker. This was published January 12th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends.

Goodreads Summary:

High school meets classic horror in this groundbreaking new series.

It was a dark and stormy night when Tor Frankenstein accidentally hit someone with her car. And killed him. But all is not lost–Tor, being the scientific genius she is, brings him back to life…

Thus begins a twisty, turn-y take on a familiar tale, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

This book retails at $17.99, but on Amazon it is $12.59.

This book was picked to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the penning of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when she was just 18 years old. Shelley later published it anonymously in 1818, and in 1823 published an edition with her name on it.

I have never heard of this book before, but it is very fitting for a Halloween box! I will definitely make sure I read this one before Monday!

Exclusive Hocus Pocus pajama set – RV $44.95.

I was super excited for this item when I saw it in the packaging. At first I thought it was just a shirt, but it turned out to be something even better!!! (P.S. Sorry for the horrible photo of me wearing the pjs, my husband is not a great photographer and he cut off my head.) These were super soft and I was a little worried that the shorts would be a little too big, but they fit perfectly. My only problem is that I live in south Texas, and the high today was 88 degrees F! Definitely not long sleeve weather. =/

img_1603

Frankenstein Tea Sampler by First Edition Tea Co. -RV $3.99, you can purchase other literary themed teas on their Etsy shop, a sampler bag costs $2.50 in their shop. Maybe this will become available sometime in the future!

This was made exclusively for Lit-Cube. I almost wished I was a tea drinker so that I could try this out! I love pumpkin anything and this looks like it would taste amazing! Maybe I will give this to my good friend who loves tea so that he can tell me the verdict!

img_1605

National Geographic Is It Real? Vampires -RV $19.99, Amazon has this for $4.99.

I am pretty sure that I have seen this on TV randomly, but I don’t think I really need this on DVD. This is probably the least liked item that we received. I wonder if it is on Netflix.

img_1601

Halloween Socks- RV $9.99

How adorable are these socks?? I love socks and these will be a great edition! Great for keeping feet, while not necessarily warm, covered. They can also be used to confuse your big black dog into thinking your foot is your small dog while they are playing.

img_1606

Hocus Pocus magnetic bookmark set by NerdyGrlDesigns, RV $3.25. These particular bookmarks can be bought as a set (which the full set is 5 characters) for $9.15.  They can be bought individually for $3.15, or as a set of 3 for $5.50 in the choose your own characters section. I love Melissa’s shop, and have actually purchased from her before. I actually have my eye on a few more bookmarks that I hope I can convince someone to buy me for Christmas. =D

img_1604

Annie B’s Popcorn & Caramels– RV $2.95

You either received caramel, sea salt caramel, or jalepeno cheddar, each individual bag is $2.00. I am very excited to try these out as I am a huge popcorn fan! The individual caramel candies come in 13 different flavors. You can purchase a bag of 10 for $5.00 or 120 pieces for $60.00, or a few different options. I imagine that Lit-Cube probably bought in bulk, which would make each candy worth $0.50.

Overall this box has a value of $83.52, not bad for a subscription box. This is probably my favorite box I have received from Lit-Cube this year! Not just because the theme is Halloween, but I love almost all of the goodies picked out! I hope I enjoy the book as much as I enjoy the goodies!

What do you think of this boxes curation? What boxes do you subscribe to that had a Halloween theme this month?

Posted in Subscription Box

Uppercase Box October Review

It’s that time of the month again! A new box from Uppercase by Lisa Parkin!

IMG_0024.JPGEvery month you receive:

  • a brand new hardcover book, the book is either signed or you receive a signed bookplate,
  • 1-2 high quality bookish items,
  • Uppercase reading experience with exclusive content,
  • and a special note!

You can choose from two different plans:

Expert plan: comes with everything above for only $23/month plus $6 shipping and handling;

Book exclusive plan: comes with everything above except the 1-2 bookish items for only $17/month plus s/h.

You can check out my other Uppercase reviews here, and my other book subscription reviews here!

img_1573

As always there is a information card along with a personal note from Lisa.

img_1574

Also included in every box is a bookmark that takes you to the questions, polls, and/or videos that relate to that particular spot in the book.

img_1572

The book this month is Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter.

Published: September 20th 2016 by Tor Teen

Goodreads Summary:

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…

This book retails for $17.99, but you can find it on Amazon for $11.00.

Last month I went to the Texas Teen Book Festival, and Sarah Porter was there. I was very close to buying her book at the festival to have her sign it. I am glad that I gave myself a budget and wasn’t able to buy it. This has been on my Amazon wish list since I found out about it, and I am happy to be able to take it off!

Update: I finally finished the book and I really enjoyed it! Check out my review here.

img_1579

It is also signed!! I shouldn’t be surprised every month, but I always forget that their books are always signed each month. It’s a nice perk.

img_1576

Erg character sticker- value $3.00? I don’t really do anything with the stickers I receive, but I may place her inside my book somewhere, just so I don’t loose her!

img_1575

Besides the book. These magnetic cassette tape bookmarks, might be my favorite item in the box! I found them on a website called Connect Design for $6.00. Super cute.

img_1577

Punk Rock Writers Journal- Chronicle Books with a value of $9.95. This is a pretty neat journal, each page has a different author in the corner and the pages seemed to be made from very sturdy paper.

img_1578

Overall, this box has a value of $29.95. A little low, but with a signed book that I believe increases the value of the box. I am always pleased with Lisa’s curations and can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next month!

What do you think of this month’s box?

 

 

Posted in Subscription Box

Lit-Cube October “Tale As Old As Time” Box Review

Lit-Cube is a monthly subscription box that sends you a book, a wearable, and other little bookish goodies.

The cost: $29.99/month + $4.99 s/h to U.S. and $14.99 s/h to Canada

<–This is what it looks like on the inside, after you first open it! The anticipation is exciting. This months theme was decided by a vote, and the winner was “Tale As Old As Time”!

Check out my other Lit-Cube reviews and book box subscription reviews !

I love the themed description card, I like that Lit-Cube . I may be biased because I love Beauty and the Beast. And as always, they included on the other side information of what you will find in the box.

img_1559

The book this month is a special edition for Lit-Cube.

Beauty (Everland Ever After) by Caroline Lee

Published: October 1st 2016 (paperback), originally published May 31st 2016 for Kindle

Goodreads Summary:

A faded matron and a blinded musician… but which is the Beauty and which is the Beast?

Twice-widowed Arabella Mayor has made a place for herself and her son in Everland, selling and lending her beloved books to other bibliophiles in the sweet town. But she’s running out of money, and ten-year-old Eddie is giving her fits, and their future is uncertain. Re-marriage might have once been an option, but Arabella knows she’s past her prime, and isn’t the Beauty she used to be. And as her beauty faded, so did her worth. What does she have left?

World-renown violinist Vincenzo Bellini is at ease with his carefully cultivated reputation of a beastly recluse. After all, the fewer people looking at his hideous scars, the better. Ready to retire, he’s trying to hide in Everland, but doesn’t count on the townsfolk being so curious… especially a particular bookseller who reminds him of the life he abandoned long ago. Can he teach her that worth isn’t tied to their appearances, or will he have to abandon his plans for a future here in Everland?

The paperback version on Amazon is $9.99, but you can get the Kindle version for only $2.99. img_1560

I really like fairy tale reimaginings, but I am not so sure about this one. It doesn’t sound like something I normally read, but I am willing to give it a try.  What makes this a Lit-Cube special edition, is that the very first page is a letter written to the subscribers from the author and then she signed it! I thought that was a pretty cool element that I haven’t seen in a Lit-Cube box before.

img_1555

Not only did we get a signed book, we also received a signed bookmark from the author.

img_1561

The wearable this month is an exclusive Beauty and the Beast rose necklace. This has a value of $9.99.  The mini replica of the enchanted rose is very cute. I know a little girl whose birthday is coming up that would love this!

img_1554

Our edible this month is a large cinnamon pretzel with icing. This is from the Pretzel Haus Bakery, on Amazon you can purchase a pack of 10 for $29.99. Which would make one pretzel have a value of $2.99. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but it is super soft in the package.

This is an Exclusive Tale as Old as Time Jewelry Box, retails for $24.95. This is very cute, if I had a little girl she would love this.

img_1558

The last little goodie, is this metal rose bookmark. This has a value of $4.99. It comes with a very cute blank card, and an envelope with a rose on it. I have a new obsession with bookmarks, and I am excited to add this to my growing collection.

Overall, I am very pleased with this month’s curation. This box has an estimated value of $52.91. The book is signed so that in my opinion raises the value of the book.

What do you think of this month’s Lit-Cube “Tale as Old as Time” Box?

Next month’s theme is:

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-11-50-33-am

Posted in Subscription Box

Lit-Cube September “Haunted Hearts” Box Review

Lit-Cube is a monthly subscription box that sends you a book, a wearable, and other little bookish goodies.

The cost: $29.99/month + $4.99 s/h to U.S. and $14.99 s/h to Canada

<–This is what it looks like on the inside, after you first open it! The anticipation is exciting. This months theme was “Haunted Hearts” and it was guest curated by AG Howard the author of the book this month!

Check out my other Lit-Cube reviews and book box subscription reviews !

This month’s box looks very promising! I like that everything is some how connected to this months book. As always, the first item in the box is the information card detailing every item!

The book this month was The Architect of Song (Haunted Hearts Legacy #1) by A.G. Howard. Published August 15th 2016 by Golden Orb Press.

Goodreads Summary:

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

This book has been on my TBR since I first heard about it, I can’t wait to read this! The retail value of this book is $14.99, but you can find it on Amazon for only $14.00! If you like ebooks then you can actually get this book for only $7.95.

I really like that LitCube includes signed bookplates in their subscription boxes! I think it just adds a little extra value to the book.

This journal is a LitCube exclusive! The quote on the cover was handpicked by Howard herself! “Keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps a singing bird will come” -Chinese Proverb. This journal has a retail value of $12.99.

To go with our new journal is this mini feather quill & ink vial set, with a retail value of $14.99.

This particular Gardenia scented MOR soap has a retail value of $1.99. I couldn’t find this exact one on their website, but I did find a similar fancier soap in Snow Gardenia scent for $18.00.

The snackable this month is a Nestle Dark Chocolate flavored hot chocolate mix. You can purchase a box of 50 packets for $13.94 on Amazon. So for one packet the retail value is $0.28, not bad. Being at the bottom of Texas, it doesn’t get very cold, but I can’t wait to drink some hot chocolate while reading a good book!

The wearable this month, is this glass necklace with pressed flowers, with a retail value of $14.99. This is one of my favorite items this month!

This is a great box! Overall, this box has a value of $59.24. Although, if you include the soap you can purchase from MOR then the box increases in value to $75.25. I really like all of the items in this month’s box!

Did you receive a Lit-Cube this month? What do you think of the items?

Don’t miss next month’s box:

octtaleasoldastime

Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

Mer-Charmer Review

Mer-Charmer by Amy Bearceimg_1236

Book 2 in the World of Aluvia series

Published: May 9th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Fourteen-year-old Phoebe Quinn is surrounded by magic, but she can’t muster any of her own. Her sister is a fairy keeper. Her best friends are merfolk. And all she does is dishes and housework.

When Phoebe finds out a terrible sea creature is awakening that preys upon the peace-loving merfolk, she becomes determined to help them, even though it means going with Tristan and Mina to their home deep in the sea.

Beneath the waves, Phoebe learns she’s more like her sister than she realized. The merfolk are drawn to her, and she can sense the magic of the sea all around her. Magic is finally at her fingertips, but that’s precisely why the stirring dark power under the waters decides it wants her most of all.

Now she must not only help the peaceful merfolk escape this ancient enemy, she must master her out-of-control powers. If she fails, she will die and darkness will rise and enslave the merfolk once more. But embracing her full power could cost her the very people she loves the most.

“He held one of her hands; Mina held the other. And they pulled her deeper into the sea, where she’d always longed to go; no matter how many told her she couldn’t.”

This was my August’s Lit-Cube book, and I really enjoyed it, they always pick out great books (at least so far)! They gave us the first book as an ebook for free, so I read that one first (check out my Fairy Keeper review!). Bearce said you can read each book as a standalone or in order, and that is pretty much true. The second book took place 4 years after the first, and really only a situation in the first book had influence for the second.

“So much for keeping things from her sister. Her pathetic attempt at hiding the truth was like a giant rope coming completely unwoven, each strand blowing loose and open in the wind for all to see.”

Plot wise this book was very similar to the first, with the main difference being the adventure was in the ocean instead of on land. Sierra and her two friends go off to find the fairies in the first book, and in the second Phoebe and her two friends go off to try to save the mermaids from an ancient enemy. Sierra struggled with her romantic notions towards Micah, and Phoebe struggled with her romantic notions towards Tristan. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Although, I do have to say that I enjoyed this book more than the first one. I think I just like mermaids and the ocean more so than fairies. =)

“But some things mattered more than her own happiness. The protection of the merfolk was one of them.”

What I enjoyed most about this book, is the personal journey that Phoebe went on. Phoebe started off being held back by the events of the past, and having a hard time letting all of it go. By the end of her journey, Phoebe was finally able to let it go and become a strong individual. She sacrificed so much in the end, and I don’t think even Sierra understands the lengths Phoebe went through to save the merfolk and herself.

“Through Tristan’s magic, she still breathed, though she wasn’t quite sure why she’d want to. She’d given up everything she loved. The merfolk had no reason to love her, a human, now that their magical link was destroyed.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It moved a little bit slow in the beginning, but definitely picked up speed the last half of the book. If you love a good fantasy centered around mermaids, then you’ll enjoy this book!

 

Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

Lit-Cube August “I’d Rather Be A Mermaid” Review

Lit-Cube is a monthly subscription box that sends you a book, a wearable, and other little bookish goodies.

The cost: $29.99/month + $4.99 s/h to U.S. and $14.99 s/h to Canada

<–This is what it looks like on the inside, after you first open it! The anticipation is exciting. This months theme was “I’d Rather Be A Mermaid.” I love all things mermaid, so waiting all month for this box was torture!

Check out my other Lit-Cube reviews and book box subscription reviews !

After the theme card, comes the description card of all of the items included in this months box.

Would you rather be a mermaid A witch? A faerie? Or a werewolf? Choose your favorite paranormal story and download samples from The Cotton Candy Quintet! I thought this was a cute way to promote Erin Hayes’ books from The Cotton Candy Quintet.

Another promotional item in the box, is this Updrift coaster. Updrift is the first book in The Mer Chronicles by Erinn Stevens. The coaster is really cute, and after looking it up I found out it is also the cover of the book, so I will definitely have to check it out!

The book this month is Mer-Charmer by Amy Bearce. This is book two in the World of Aluvia series, but it can be read as a standalone, which is great because I haven’t read the first one yet!

Published: May 9th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press

Goodreads Summary:

Fourteen-year-old Phoebe Quinn is surrounded by magic, but she can’t muster any of her own. Her sister is a fairy keeper. Her best friends are merfolk. And all she does is dishes and housework.

When Phoebe finds out a terrible sea creature is awakening that preys upon the peace-loving merfolk, she becomes determined to help them, even though it means going with Tristan and Mina to their home deep in the sea.

Beneath the waves, Phoebe learns she’s more like her sister than she realized. The merfolk are drawn to her, and she can sense the magic of the sea all around her. Magic is finally at her fingertips, but that’s precisely why the stirring dark power under the waters decides it wants her most of all.

Now she must not only help the peaceful merfolk escape this ancient enemy, she must master her out-of-control powers. If she fails, she will die and darkness will rise and enslave the merfolk once more. But embracing her full power could cost her the very people she loves the most.

The retail value of this book is $16.99, but you can find it on Amazon for $16.14 (at least you get a 5% discount!).

This book has an interesting premise. I have read some really good mermaid books and some that are not so great. I really hope this falls in the first category!

If you haven’t read the first book (Fairy Keeper), like me, Lit-Cube included a free ebook download! If you have Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free, but if you are like me and don’t you can purchase it from Amazon for $4.99. For an ebook that is not a bad price.

This month, we not only received a paperback book and a free ebook, but we also got another paperback book! My TBR list is growing quickly!

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Published: October 1st 2013 by Square Fish (first published September 4th 2012).

Goodreads Summary:

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

This book has some great reviews on Goodreads, and I can’t wait to dive into it! (See what I did there? ;)).

This book has a retail value of $9.99, or you can get the Kindle version for only $7.09 on Amazon.

IMG_0080

Another goody this month, is this Lit-Cube Exclusive Mermaid Travel Cup! It is super adorable, and I love that it is in purple! This travel cup has a retail value of $9.99.

Inside the travel cup was all of these goodies! There was some promotional items for more mermaid books, a signed bookplate from Amy Bearce, a couple of drink packets, and a lip balm.

If you join Poppy Lawless’s newsletter, she will give you a free copy of The Glass Mermaid (book one in The Chancellor Fairy Tales series). All my life is as fragile as glass. What would you sacrifice to save the one you love?

Amy Bearce’s signed bookplate is super adorable. “Everytime you write a review, a mermaid is born!”

This months snackable are Everly Drink Packets! These drink mixes make drinking water every day more enjoyable. “Their drink mixes are natural, sugar free, zero calorie, and very affordable. Great for a hot summer day while reading a book!” We even got a code to try all of the flavors for free! They have a 3-day challenge to kick the soda and sugar out of your diet for only $10, and a box of 30 packets is only $17.50. Since we received two samples, I would guess that the estimated value is $1.17. We even received a pitcher packet, but I couldn’t find that one on their website. I received Peach Mango, Green Tea Passion Fruit, and Strawberry Lemonade to try!

The wearable in the box is the Mermaid Lip-Balm by LippincottSoapCo on Etsy. Their “Mermaid” lip balm smells just like a rainbow snowcone! This is a creamy, scentless balm that stays on for hours. The ingredients in this balm are beeswax, jojoba oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, phthalate-free flavor oil, castor oil, lanolin, and vitamin E. This has a retail value of $4.00, but if your purchase is $50 or more they have a coupon code for 10% off!

IMG_0082

“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of the depths, and a great fear of shallow living.” Believe it or not, but this is a beach towel! This is the last Lit-Cube exclusive item in this months box with a retail value of $19.95. I love the quote on the towel, but it doesn’t feel like a towel. It seems as if it is more like a blanket, but still cute.

Overall, this box has a value of $66.23, not bad for a $34 subscription box! I think since I have been subscribing, this has been the most highly anticipated box and it did not disappoint! I loved that this one came with more than one book and all of the bookish items were great!

Next months theme is “Haunted Hearts” and it is being guest curated by AG Howard the author of The Architect of Song (which will be the book next month). Everything in the box will be hand picked by Howard, how exciting!

9.Sept_.Announcement-1024x1024

What do you think of this months box?! Do you love mermaids just as much as me? What do you think of next months theme??

Check out my Facebook page and let me know if you have one as well!

Posted in Young Adult

P.S. I Like You Review

IMG_0070P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Published: July 26th 2016 by Point

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Minor spoiler alert (I think)!

Goodreads Summary:

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds thatsomeone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

“You’re my favorite way to pass the time. But time stands still when you’re on my mind.”

This book came in my August Uppercase subscription, and I am so glad that it did! I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately, and it’s nice to mix it up here and there. This was a very cute story about two “anonymous” pen pals trying to pass their time in chemistry class. This book reminded me a lot of A Cinderella Story with Hillary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. The only difference is they wrote e-mails and in this story it’s old fashioned letters stuffed under the desk.

“I’m with you on measuring this week in letters and the two-day drought we are about to experience. If only there was a way to transport letters faster, through some sort of electronic device that codes messages and sends them through the air. But that’s just crazy talk.”

Lily is described as weird, quirky, and kind of hipstery (is that a word? Well it is now). She is a self-taught guitar player who likes to write lyrics, and wants to submit a song to a competition. All throughout the semester, Lily can’t find the words and makes excuses to not share her lyrics with anyone.

Cade is the exact opposite of Lily. He is “mainstream” and very popular at school who also happens to play baseball. From Lily’s pov, we see Cade as a class A jerk, who is always trying to make Lily miserable. They have a hatred for each other that goes back years. When Lily finally explains why she hates him, I just don’t see how one incident could incite such hatred.

“But then I think: my guitar is just a thing. You know? And my brother is a person. A thing is not more important than a person…”

Plot wise this book moved very quickly. There was a lot of highs and lows and for the most part I followed along the emotional rollercoaster with Lily. I got so caught up in the moment, that I found myself smiling when something cute happened and tearing up when Lily starts crying.

This story is nothing if not a walking cliche. Almost every situation was a cliche of some sort, but for the most part it didn’t bother me too much. Let’s see…boy drama? Check. Friend drama? Check. Mean girl trying to ruin main protagonists happiness? Check. Love triangle? More like a brief square that never really amounted to anything, but check.

 

“We don’t need any cutesy traditions. We’re solid you and me.”

West could have ruined this book by having a love triangle be the main focus. Thankfully, it didn’t last long and two of the boys came in and out of the picture fairly quickly. (Whatever happened to the clarinet guy who kicked the rabbit? Two dates and he just disappears for good?) At least with Lucas we know why he is no longer in the picture. The relationship between Lily and Cade progressed naturally, and I just wished that she got over her prejudices earlier so that they could have been a couple more in the book!

Need a quick contemporary read with a sense of humor? Then I suggest picking up this book! Totally worth it.

Posted in Subscription Box, Young Adult

This Savage Song Review

IMG_0031This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Published: July 5th 2016 by Greenwillow Books

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

There’s no such thing as safe.

Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.

August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.

Their city is divided.

Their city is crumbling.

Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.

But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?

“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.”

I received this book in one of my YA book box subscriptions, and I am so glad I did! I most likely wouldn’t have stumbled across this one at least for a little while. I highly enjoyed this book and the author was correct when describing this book “Sin City PLUS Romeo and Juliet MINUS romance PLUS monsters.” You definitely got that Sin City vibe minus everything being in black and white with hints of color.

“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
“They’re gonna come and eat you all.
Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry.
Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul.
Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all!”

August is a monster who wants to be human. Throughout the entire book, we see him struggling with what being a human means and how to not got dark and loose what humanity he has. Probably out of all of the characters, August grew the most and truly realized his purpose in life. Which, I am honestly glad he embraced his true self, hopefully in the second book we will see a little less emo August.

Kate, on the other hand, was a little bit harder to like or even relate to. She is coming off as this strong and independent person who is trying to prove her worth. But all I see is a girl with way too much privilege. The very first act we see from Kate, is her burning down a little chapel, not because she needed to but because she wanted to. She viewed it as the only way to get kicked out and sent back to V-City. Even the cop who escorted her knew she was a privileged kid and only gets away with things because Daddy pays for it. After she finally gets her way, Kate still just does whatever she wants. Nothing has changed just the location. Even throughout the whole book when she is trying to stay alive with August, I felt like Kate never changed. She was a very one dimensional character.

“Even if surviving wasn’t simple, or easy, or fair.
Even if he could never be human.
He wanted the chance to matter.
He wanted to live.”

The plot was very intriguing. Following along with Kate and August, I thought I had it all figured out on who the bad guy was and was totally thrown for a loop. Although, I should have seen it coming I missed it. The plot did start off slow at first, but after awhile it started to pick up and then I couldn’t put the book down until I finished! The whole thing was well written, and very action packed (of course with monsters thrown into the mix, it would be hard not to be!).

I would definitely suggest picking up this book if you have the chance! If you read it already, what did you think of it?